The Apartment Problem


Etta had lived in some pretty bad places. She and her husbands had called them ‘compartments’ because even the humans had to stay in the right place or trouble would follow. A place for everything, put it back where you found it, clean up your mess, Does your mother live here? began many a sentence.

So when she grew older, gave up most of her possessions and moved to the Waiting Room, she began to have that numbing “living in a compartment” feeling again. The walls began to close in and she would wander into the middle of the street to find company. In most cases a crowd would gather and the discussion would turn to polka dances or the last resident appreciation day. Not a few times the new health problems of a neighbor would be brought up, diagnosed and discarded.

But the day that Etta and her team mates gathered at the boccie ball court with a cheering crowd sporting pom poms made up for living in a compartment. There were four people on a team, generally couples. Etta had found that Jeff, her younger friend was a good partner in the game. The other couple were friends from the other end of the park and the woman gave Etta a run for her money when it came to quirky.

There was a tournament that lasted three days. Serious boccie ball players gathered on the east side of the park and respectful spectators sat on brightly colored benches cheering their favorites in hushed tones. That was until Etta showed up with her entourage. Frowns were seen at the other court but the group was not interested. They played best two of three matches. Etta and her team won…some said because the crowd noise was deafening. By the time they finished the street was full. Etta crowed like a rooster and high fived everyone, even the losers. She often said she didn’t mind loosing…that was what that case of vermouth in the shed was for. But she loved winning a lot better.

There was a celebration even though it was only the first of several games they had to play to win. Etta told everyone she didn’t care…it was the first time they had won all season and if they didn’t like it well, that was just to bad.

The Waiting Room was never quite the same after Etta moved in. The jury was out for several years. They just could not decide whether they liked it or not!


Jeff, this is for you. All of Etta’s stories are about people from a RV Resort. I don’t tell all the story because when you live like this you never do know it all. So much has happened before they arrive here and they simply don’t want you to know about their former lives.


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